The Government is failing to tackle the growing problem of rural business crime, landowners will tell police chiefs today.

Officers are still failing to deal with the issue, despite being presented with evidence that two-thirds of people in the West Midlands countryside had experienced crime, a lobby group has said.

The Country Land and Business Association will meet with members of West Mercia Police today in a bid to tackle the growing problem.

The CLA is calling on the Government to include business crime in performance targets, which would enable police forces to use extra funding to tackle the problem.

The lobby group carried out a survey last year, in which it found two-thirds of people living in the rural West Midlands had been victims of crime at a cost to businesses of more than £580,000 a year.

It questioned 245 landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the region.

The findings were presented to a meeting of assistant chief constables last November.

But Frances Beatty, regional director of the West Midlands CLA, said the situation remained the same.

She said: "There is no change. The problems, the frustrations, for anyone in the rural business community is still that police don't respond.

"A year ago the police said even if we don't respond please keep in touch so we can record the incidents, because it is these figures that will inspire the Home Office to give us funding.

"We are still in the same situation that rural business crime is not a priority because police don't get the funding to deal with it."

Mrs Beatty said crime was moving from the towns and cities into the countryside, as more crime-busting measures such as CCTV were being introduced in urban areas.

"Part of the problem is that the police seem to take business crime perhaps less seriously as the business community would like.

"When it comes to rural business crime it becomes even worse for two reasons - you have issues of sparsity with businesses far apart and therefore difficult to police - and the second is that with so many rural businesses people live where they work and so people feel threatened."